Workout Planning: Structuring Resistance Training

First things first, you’ve decided to take your health seriously, and since you’re taking matters into your hands, quite literally so, it’s better to know how to go about your week by way of workout planning before you follow your training regimen.

Incorporating a Gung-Ho approach and performing an eclectic mix of exercises till you reach musculoskeletal failure is exhilarating but inefficient. Since you’re taking time out from your busy schedule, you might as well get the most from your workout: just how you shouldn’t work for money and how money should work for you by way of investment returns, let your workouts work for you too. It’s quite simple.

Here’s the Split: Push, Pull, and Lift

On a day-to-day basis, we mostly perform the following movements: pushing, pulling, or lifting. Think about it—pulling yourself closer to the desk, pushing the door that actually says “push,” and lifting that godawful table, which always rocks to the side, to slide a piece of paper underneath one of its legs for much needed equilibrium that keeps your morning coffee from spilling.

Although these are performed at a submaximal level, these still qualify as essential movements. Therefore, even at the gym, why not perform movements that will actually have a carry-over effect in your daily lives? Thus, the importance of workout planning begins to work its charms.

Our mind plays hilarious tricks at times. When outside the gym, it doesn’t register the numerous movements we perform as exercises. Miraculously, only when we enter the hallowed grounds of a gymnasium, does the mind start associating these daily activities as mechanical exercises, causing that iffy burden to force oneself to “work.” Therefore, first take the edge off the idea of working out and then begin the process of workout planning.

Push Day

Push your limits…no, seriously, push.

A push is an action that causes movement around two joints, namely the elbow and the shoulder. When the hinge and ball-and-socket joints work in conjunction, the human body is capable of pushing. Apart from performing your daily pushing activities with ease, combat sports, parkour, and probably every sport you can find incorporate pushing to varying degrees.

For me, be it drilling or when I’m rolling on the mats during an intense Brazilian jiu-jitsu training session, the importance of pushing my sparring partner away to create my frame cannot be stressed enough. Therefore, add a push day to your mix with the following exercises to begin with:

  • Barbell/dumbbell bench press
  • Push press
  • Parallel bar dips

Pull Day

Gotta pull through the day!

Next on your workout planning card should be pulling, much like its push counterpart, a pull also creates movement around the elbow and shoulder joints, causing you to pull objects close to you or vice versa. Pulling too has a carry-over effect in sports and daily life—when I need to save myself from the horrors of a full mount, I pull my sparring partner into a clinch, but if I lack the strength to do so, life gets summed up in a submission.

Therefore, for you, whatever be the reason, dedicating a day to this movement would greatly benefit in developing pulling strength, which you could use during the tug of war event in your next company outing…just saying. You should incorporate the following movements for powerful pulls:

  • Chin ups (wide and narrow grip)
  • Lat pull down (wide and narrow grip)
  • Bent over dumbbell/barbell rows


Do you even lift?

I don’t want to say that I saved the best for last, but I sort of did. Lifting can be succinctly described as an act in which the entire body is used as one single, steady unit.

Primarily, it deals with loading the axial skeleton, which is what distinguishes it from pulls and pushes. Therefore, lifting an object from the ground up or sitting and standing with an object is as crucial a movement you can perform to have the greatest bang for buck during your resistance training sessions. The benefits are manifold, which I will cover as I progress in my blogging journey. But, I’ll be sure to get you there.

Mother nature intended us to use our body as a solid unit; therefore, instead of hulking out on curls for your elbow flexors (aka, “biceps”), add these bad boys for size when you begin workout planning:

  • Back squat
  • Front squat
  • Overhead squat
  • Deadlift
  • Sumo deadlift

That Sums It up, for Now

With that, I leave you to ruminate, ponder, and research. However, I hope I nudged you in the right direction or at least got you thinking. I thank you, reader, for following me down the hole this far to read my very first blog post. More is to come.

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Resistance Training

Rahul Chitrakar View All →

Discovering the nuances of life through the lens of fitness in its myriad expressions

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